Ofer Eini, chairman of the Histadrut labor federation's Trade Union Department, slammed Supersol's takeover bid of Clubmarket in a statement made over the weekend. "The offer which Supersol made to acquire the Clubmarket supermarket chain isn't appropriate because it harms the wages of most Clubmarket employees," he charged.
Eini said this after Supersol CEO, Effie Rosenhaus, made clear in his meetings with Histadrut representatives and with the legal adviser of Clubmarket employees, Galila Rosenstein, that Supersol would absorb Clubmarket employees only at entry level in Supersol. Supersol, according to Rosenhaus, would not recognize seniority and benefits that workers had reached or accrued in the collapsed chain.
The significance of Rosenhaus' announcement is that veteran workers at Clubmarket would lose around 50 percent of their gross salaries at Supersol. A warehouse director, for example, who grossed NIS 7,000 at Clubmarket would be hired at Supersol for a trial period at NIS 3,500 per month. In addition, if he were eligible, based on the Clubmarket labor agreement, for a training fund (keren histalmut) at the end of three years and had worked 30 months, he would have to start all over again at Supersol.
Eini and Histadrut representative Yoram Orenstein met over the weekend with businessman Shlomi Bardugo, who represents one of the groups who competed for the acquisition of Clubmarket but whose offer was significantly lower than that of Supersol's $1 billion bid.
Bardugo told the Histadrut representatives that his group, as opposed to Supersol, was prepared to absorb all Clubmarket workers without harming their wage conditions were it to acquire the chain. Eini responded, "Considering that Bardugo's group is prepared to take on Clubmarket's 3,500 employees at their present wage conditions as well as to finance its past debts to these workers, this group's offer is effectively not much lower than that of Supersol. I intend to appeal to Clubmarket's trustees to reconsider the group's bid, as well as those of other institutions that sought to acquire the chain."
Eini added: "If Clubmarket's trustees insist on accepting Supersol's offer as is, without any commitment to avoid harming the wage conditions of past, present, and future workers, we will oppose the deal and utilize all our means to declare a strike at Clubmarket."
"Supersol committed itself," commented its spokesman, "in the bid to allow the absorption of all Clubmarket branch employees in accordance with Supersol's collective labor agreement of 2005. The Supersol chain is known for its excellent labor relations with its workers since its inception, and it will continue to act accordingly with Clubmarket employees who join our services."